Make Your Synology NAS 5Gbe Equipped with the QNAP USB-to-5GbE Adapter
For those of you who have been considering (or have already purchased) a Synology NAS in the last year or so, one of the things that the brand has never really engaged in heavily is the idea of greater-than-gigabit connectivity at the diskstation level. There HAVE been a handful of 10Gbe equipped solutions that were either priced as enterprise solutions (eg DS1621xs+) Or were partnered with weaker CPUs (eg DS1817). Alongside this, many solutions at the desktop level have arrived with PCIe upgradability, allowing users to upgrade the 1GbE ports to something more substantial. However, last year QNAP released a new kind of network interface upgrade for NAS and PC, known as the QNA-UC5G1T USB to 5GbE adapter. Many (myself included) were looking forward to testing this out on a Synology NAS system, in order to allow even modest 2 and 4-Bay Diskstation systems to upgrade from 1Gbe-to-5Gbe just with a USB port. However, the Synology NAS system does not officially support the QNAP QNA-UC5G1T adapter. However, a smart user by the name of ‘bb-qq’ on github last year successfully created an unofficial Synology app/plugin for the Diskstation App Center that will install the necessary Aquantia driver to use this QNAP adapter on your Synology NAS. Today I want to show you how to add this adapter to your NAS and upgrade your Synology to 5Gbe (or more with more adapters and USB ports) without the need of a PCIe upgrade slot. Let’s go!
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide – Important
Before you go ahead with the 5Gbe Synology NAS upgrade guide using a QNAP QNA-UC5G1T adapter, it is important to understand that you are going to be using an unofficially supported application and with that the potential risk that you are using tools that are not endorsed/vetted by the brand. 3rd party applications are not new to Synology (with many, many available on the app centre on day 1), but this will be installing an unsigned/untrusted tool to your DSM and you should always be aware of what you are doing. Additionally, it is worth highlighting that this installation, although very impressive, is still not 100% and occasionally the 5Gbe connection may not be visible (from a system reboot related firmware update or associated program), in order to resolve this you will need to head into the app centre and restart the driver (explained in the guide below. So, in summary, you should remember:
- Not Officially Supported by Synology
- Not 100% Stable – Sometimes the connection will need to be restarted (eg after firmware update/reboot)
- Uses a 3rd Party driver and requires manual installation
- Make sure you connect with a USB 3.0 / USB 3.1 Gen 1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port, as USB 2.0 will not provide the bandwidth
- We are still awaiting testing on LAG/Port trunking with multiple QNAP QNA-UC5G1T adapters to multiple USB Ports on the Synology NAS
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide – What You Will Need
In order to proceed with this guide and get your NAS system to use 5Gbe, you will need the following things. First thing you will need is the QNAP QNA-UC5G1T adapter (around £50-60) and (of course) a Synology NAS. Just make sure it is a NAS that has at least one available USB 3.0 port and features an Intel x86 64bit processor (generally an Atom, Celeron, Pentium, Xeon, etc).
QNAP QNA-UC5G1T USB-to-5Gbe Adapter
Synology NAS with USB 3.0 & an Intel 64bit x86 CPU
Next, you will need the correct driver to install on your Synology NAS, so it can then ‘see’ the QNAP QNA-UC5G1T when connected to the Synology NAS USB 3.0 port. Each CPU has a different architecture and therefore it is essential that you install the correct driver. If you select the wrong driver it will not brick your system (and can be easily installed) but the wrong driver will be blocked by the Synology NAS system from installing, or just not work. Use the lists below to select your NAS. I have factored the systems from the last 3+ years Synology releases, but there are more systems that are supported by these drives, so use the link to the Synology CPU page if you need further clarification o nthe right driver for you.
Correct Driver for your NAS Drive can be found below:
If you cannot find your Synology NAS Drive in the boxes above, your Synology NAS drive in the boxes above, you can find the FULL LIST of downloads from the official NAS CPU lists HERE – https://www.synology.com/en-global/knowledgebase/DSM/tutorial/Compatibility_Peripherals/What_kind_of_CPU_does_my_NAS_have
You are ready now. Let’s start the guide.
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 1
First you need to make sure you have downloaded the correct driver (using the boxes above) for your Synology NAS. When you have done that, head to the Package Centre on your Synology NAS. From the App centre window, go to the top right and select the settings menu.
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 2
The initial tab ‘General’ should be visible. From here you need to change the trust level option from ‘Synology Inc’ to ‘Any Publisher’
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 3
Next, back in the initial App Centre menu, head up to the top right and select Manual Install
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 4
From the Manual Install window, click the browse button and find the driver file you downloaded earlier on your local PC/Mac System.
It should end in ‘.spk’.
Select the file and then click the ‘NEXT BUTTON’ at the bottom
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 5
You will know if you have selected an appropriate file for the Synology NAS, as otherwise, the screen will tell you it isn’t here. Otherwise, you will be greeted with driver details and asking you to confirm the installation. Just click Apply.
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 6
The installation will be VERY fast and within seconds, you should see a new application/icon is listed. This is the AQC111 Driver (for the Aquantia controller in the adapter and this is what the Synology NAS needs to see the QNAP 5Gbe adapter)
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 7
Next, connect the QNAP 5Gbe to USB 3.2 Gen 1 QNA-UC5G1T adapter to your Synology NAS USB port. Note, you DO NOT need to disconnect the existing 1Gbe RJ45 connection, as you will still need to access the NAS to complete the installation.
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 8
Open up the Synology Control Panel and option the Network Settings
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 9
From here, select the tab at the top for Network Interfaces
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 10
Here is the important part. Chances are that the first time you have connected the QNAP QNA-UC5G1T ADAPTER, that the new 5Gbe/5000bps connection is not showing.
This is because the system needs to be reminded of the driver. So, to resolve this, head back into the app centre and find the application.
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 11
Underneath the Driver name/icon is a drop-down option for the app. You need to click ‘stop’, then the driver will stop operating.
Then you just need to click ‘run’ and then the driver will start again.
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide Step 12
After you have done this, return to the Synology Network Connections and Interfaces (from the Control Panel like before) and then you will see the new 5Gbe connection is present. If you have not connected this connection to a PC/Mac/Switch/etc, it will still be grey BUT it will turn blue as soon as you have connected the 5Gbe to a switch/client device
Synology 5Gbe NAS USB Upgrade Guide – Optional Extras
Remember, that if your system has a system firmware update, reboots or other system-wide change, the adapter may need to be restarted again so that the system can ‘see’ the 5Gbe adapter. Top Read/Write speeds of this connection will depend on the Drives/RAID inside your NAS system, as well as the power of the system in question – but you will easily see speeds of between 200-400MB/s at the very least, several times better than the 1Gbe usually available on the bulk of Diskstaiton NAS systems
Additionally, (still to be fully tested) you can LAG/Port Trunk multiple 5Gbe adapters that you connect to your Synology NAS for greater performance speed (effectively 5Gb + 5Gb = 10Gbe) using the bonding option in the Synology Network Interface menu.
Just remember that you shouldn’t really bond the 5Gbe adapter NIC with your existing 1Gbe as LAG works best when the connections are all the same/even, as otherwise, it can present a massive internal bottleneck. Use the link below to find the QNAP QNA-UC5G1T adapter to buy in your region. Thank you for reading this guide and once again, huge props to BB-QQ on GitHub for adapting these drivers for the community.
QNAP QNA-UC5G1T USB-to-5Gbe Adapter
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